Updates on progress being made in Pikangikum, from the working group

Hello friends of Pikangikum,

Thank you for your ongoing solidarity with the people of Pikangikum First Nation.

The following is a summary of the progress we have made in collaborating with Pikangikum First Nation on implementing the projects we talked about at the last meeting of the Pikangikum First Nation Working Group on Friday, March 27, 2015.

Completed:

  • 150 Laptop Computers were delivered to Pikangikum’s Eenchokay Birchstick School in early May. As of March 2015, the school had approximately 750 students: 180 In high school, 600 in elementary and 70 in kindergarten. They have less than 80 computers for all of them.  Thank you Corporations for Community Connections and Siemens for providing the computers and air transportation to Pikangikum.
  • LED light bulb installation: Approximately 3600 incandescent light bulbs were replaced with LED bulbs in each of the approximately 450 homes in Pikangikum to reduce energy consumption and allow for the installation of the water and wastewater systems in 10 more homes. Thank you Siemens/Osram/Sylvania for the LED bulbs and air transportation to Pikangikum.
  • 500 KW Generator: The generator has been delivered and will be used to provide power for the hockey rink, the main source of play and entertainment for the children and the community. Because of the limited the capacity of the existing diesel generating system the hockey ring was often closed during the high energy demand times to prevent blackouts..  Thank you Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) for the diesel generator and delivering it to Pikangikum.  Please see the attached press release.

In-progress:

  • Water and wastewater systems in 10 more homes: The Anglican Church’s Primates World Relief and Development Fund have offered another $100,000 and Chief and Council have arranged for approximately $80,000 for funding for trainees from the Sioux Lookout Area Aboriginal Management Board (SLAAMB). The project cannot start until Frontiers Foundation have raised the additional $80,000 needed to complete the project. Donate to Frontiers Foundation through CanadaHelps.org or call Marilyn at 1-416-690-3930. You will receive a charitable tax receipt for every donation.
  • Youth Lumber Cooperative: Train 10 young Pikangikum high school graduates how to harvest their own trees and produce housing grade lumber using a portable saw mill already in Pikangikum.  Within 6 months these youth would have full time jobs providing a product desperately needed for housing, the new school and planned hunting and fishing camps for tourists.
  • Youth Internet Cafe: Building and furnishing a meeting space for youth with access to the internet and food.
  • Food Sovereignty Strategy as Climate Change Adaptation.  This initiative starts with providing the newly formed Pikangikum Women’s Group with support from a consortium of NGO’s to create a Food Cooperative in Pikangikum.  The women would be trained and employed to receive and distribute food at wholesale prices, use the freezers provided in the project to store game for distribution out of season and teach community members how to enhance their diet with fresh fruit and vegetables.

Raising Funds for Pikangikum Projects:

Some of the many activities taking place to raise $ for all of the above projects include (Please let me know if we have missed one you are involved in):

  • The Anglican Church of Canada is constantly organizing events to raise funds throughout Canada for water in Pikangikum through Bishop Mark MacDonald’s Pimatiziwin Nipi group.
  • Dave Steeves has probably made over 100 presentations at Anglican, United and Catholic Churches as well as Rotary clubs and to his own family who contributed to the Pikangikum Water project.
  • Bing Leblanc and Bob White made a presentation to the 2015 IEEE International Humanitarian Technology Conference (IHTC) held at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on June 3, 2015.  The presentation (attached) is called ‘Collaborating with Pikangikum First Nation toward resilience through technologies for water and sanitation’.
  • The Frontier Foundation is having its annual fund raising breakfast on June 25 at 7:30 am at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church in Toronto (all are welcome).  Bob White will be the speaker will and he looks forward to seeing you there.

From

Dave, Bob and Bing

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